Technological advances have created exciting changes in the world of jewellery. After over 60 years in the making, a diamond that has the same physical and chemical properties of a mined diamond can now be grown quickly and cost effectively – in a laboratory. Like a flower planted and grown in a greenhouse, diamonds can now be grown under highly controlled laboratory conditions rather than being mined. Laboratories are now able to simulate the natural growing process deep within the Earth’s mantle. This stunning achievement means that diamonds can now be produced in weeks rather than being created over millions of years.
Back in 1954 the first commercially successful synthesis of diamonds were produced using a method called HPHT – High Pressure High Temperature. These were mainly industrial diamonds but also gem quality in up to about 0.05 carat weight. A more recently developed process is called CVD or Chemical Vapour Deposition. This method grows a diamond from a hydrocarbon gas mixture on top of diamond seeds (a specialised carbon plate). The advantage of this method of diamond growth is control of the speed of growth and chemical impurities. The process is interesting:
- The seed is placed inside a low-pressure microwave chamber
- Hydrogen, methane and other trace elements are then introduced
- A microwave generator pumps energy into the chamber that ignites a glowing plasma ball
- Carbon molecules rain on the seed, layering on top of it and fast-tracking the natural crystallisation process
- The process is completed within six to ten weeks
- The diamond is cut and polished by a master diamond cutter, the same as if it were a mined diamond.
There are diamond simulants such as cubic zirconium and moissanite that have been on the market for some time that look similar to diamonds but are quite different. These simulants are intended to provide consumers with a cheaper alternative to diamonds. With different chemical and physical properties though, they do not have the hardness of diamonds or the reflective index that results in the most treasured aspect of diamonds – the sparkle. They simply are not diamonds.
But we hold a romantic idea about diamonds, about something that connects with us from the beginning of time. No matter how beautiful that idea is though, it is a new world. A world across all forms of communication and materials that demands we face new realities that are moving at lightning speed. If we ignore them and close our eyes to change we risk obsolescence. There are diamond specialists who realise this and are embracing this new age.
Specialist brands such as BIRON Laboratory Grown Diamonds have been born. They come with a highly respected industry team with extensive diamond experience. Brands with integrity like BIRON deliver the highest of standards of excellence and can be relied upon to provide quality and reliability of laboratory grown diamonds. What we found is that these diamonds are delivering:
- The same physical and chemical properties as natural mined diamonds
- Laser inscription giving confidence and assurance
- Reliable and formal documentation in the form of Certification of diamonds
- Pricing that is approximately half the price of natural diamonds
- Predominantly, these diamonds are available in high qualities of G colour and above, in clarity of SI1 and above and in weights of 0.50ct and above
- Diamonds that will never fade or change colour
- (pink diamonds require care when using heat – just as with natural diamonds)
- Will it scratch? As with a mined diamond - only a diamond can scratch a diamond
- Stunning yellow diamonds and other rare colours are available
Here is what is key about BIRON Laboratory Grown Diamonds:
- They are less expensive than mined diamonds – by quite some margin
- The choices are all high colour and clarity
- Cut is reliably excellent (this is where the sparkle lies)
- They have resilient lifetime longevity with stunning beauty that goes on and on
These are exciting times. Laboratory grown diamonds break the affordability barrier with top level quality diamonds. It will have a significant flow on effect. Brilliant minds progressing technology have delivered slashed retail pricing – a direct benefit for consumers and are contributing to an evolving global future.
Visit a trustworthy Jeweller who is on top of this development. See and compare mined diamonds to the beauty of lab grown diamonds for yourself. A reliable source of information and diamonds is more important than ever.
Diamond earrings may just be on your radar for that next special gift!